Inside VC puts the spotlight on the folks that make Vision Critical the world's top provider of insight communities. This week's focus: Sonia Bishop, VP of Internal Services-Market Panels.
If you need to understand the voice of the market, Sonia is your woman. Sonia joined our team 6 years ago - which, given that we're a young company, is the equivalent of at least 20 years at Vision Critical.
Check out what she has to say about working at Vision Critical and the future of research.
What does the market panels team do?
Sometimes, in addition to an insight community - or on the road to getting one - an organization needs to talk to a wider or narrower cross-section of the public. That's where our market panels come in: through our own panels and our global partner network, we can deploy surveys to more than 5 million members in over 50 countries around the world.
If a client needs to reach people from anywhere in the world, my team can help them get the sample they need.
How does your team help to power consumer insight?
Everyone at Vision Critical is focused on helping our clients save time and money by making it possible to manage a community with more efficiency. I tackle the same problem for our market panels: I look for ways to improve how we execute and deliver our services so that it's easier for us and our clients to get the results we need quickly.
For example, working with our Phoenix development team and IT, I led the implementation of a new internal sampling system, which lets us run feasibilities and pull samples much more efficiently than what we could do before with SPSS. With this new sampling system, we can literally pull sample for an Omnibus study within a minute - a task that used to take at least half an hour. We run several Omnibus studies each week, so the new system has made a world of difference in delivering samples faster and with more precision to our clients.
What is the most important thing people need to know about managing insight communities?
Don't let your research schedule dictate your engagement schedule. Managing an insight community is akin to being in a relationship. You get out of it as much as you put in, so you have to give it love and attention.
What do you think research and insight communities will look like in three years?
For the most part, research and insight communities today lean heavily towards a one-way dialogue between businesses and consumers. Research needs to move towards a three-way conversation, not just between the business and its customers, but also among customers - like in an insight community, where members can interact and engage with each other.
Research needs to evolve or companies will lose people who may choose to stick to other ways of being heard such as using social media. Businesses will need tools that will let them get insights faster, have an ongoing conversation with their community, and make it easy for them to tack onto or integrate with new or existing tools or applications they already use in their insights business.
If you could ask any question on the Angus Reid Forum or the Springboard network, just to satisfy your own curiosity, what would it be?
If you only had one day left to live, what would you do?